Music of Indonesia had haunted Lou Harrison from an early age to the point where he went to Asia to study. Upon his return, he decided to design and make Asian instruments using Western materials. With the help of Bill Colvig, they made two gamelans actually one that plays in two modes out of steel and aluminum tubes as well as slabs of aluminum. The gamelan is tuned to two separate modes of intonation (scale of overtones): U mode pentatonic scale and Gamelan 711 which includes prime numbers 7 and 11 of the overtone series. Examples of both modes were recorded at the Aptos home of Harrison and are presented in this broadcast.
Lou Harrison explains "just intonation" and "just tuning" with examples heard on a new gamelan designed and built by himself with Bill Colvig. The gamelan consists of xylophone-like arrays of conduit pipe which can be played by as many as seven players at one time. Included are several improvisations by a full complement of musicians recorded.
Performers include Robert Hughes, Lou Harrison, Jerome Neff, Larry Blackshire, William Colvig and Charles Amirkhanian. The music portion of this tape was recorded on August 31, 1970. The demonstration was recorded at Studio C (KPFA) on March 17, 1971.
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